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Interscope Blankets L.A. Bus Stops With Ads Celebrating Steve Berman's 25th Year at Label
Two dozen bus stops ads offer campy congrats to the IGA vice chairman.
As the music industry descends on Los Angeles in anticipation of the 59th annual Grammy Awards this Sunday evening (Feb. 12), those passing by a sidewalk bus stop may see something familiar: a splashy, optimistic advertisement wrapped on a bench that, at first glance, resembles any number of ads for a local dentist or attorney promising great returns. But a second look reveals not the smiling mug of an ambulance-chasing lawyer, but the face of Interscope/Geffen/A&M vice chairman Steve Berman, the longtime IGA stalwart celebrating a quarter century with the label.
The ad, which appears on around two dozen bus stops across Los Angeles, adheres to the trope with slogans like, "#1 on the Westside!," "Delivering results for 25 years" and, complete with an accompanying email address, "Let Steve and the Interscope team find your perfect music today." (A Billboard staffer snapped the above photo of one such ad.)
A clever way to celebrate a milestone, no doubt, and one that Berman is sure to appreciate; shortly after the launch of Interscope Records, Berman came aboard to work as Jimmy Iovine's marketing and sales guru, rising to president of marketing and sales for IGA in 2005 before taking on his current role in 2010. While Berman does most of his work behind the scenes, even music fans who don't closely follow the inner workings of the music industry may recognize his name from skits on Eminem's Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show, alternately excoriating (on MMLP) and praising (on The Eminem Show) the Detroit MC's records.
"We thought it would be a cool idea to commemorate Steve Berman's 25th anniversary at the company in a different, fun kind of way," a label source told Billboard. "Between the Dre video, the Eminem sketches, he's so woven into the fabric of Interscope, we thought it would be a fun way to get it in front of people's eyes."
Berman's certainly had a big year at Interscope, as his placement on today's Billboard Power 100 suggests. Albums from The 1975, Kendrick Lamar, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga and J. Cole all topped the Billboard 200 in 2016, while the breakout success of Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles" helped the song remain at No. 1 on the Hot 100 for seven non-consecutive weeks.